2022, Volume 23
Reclaiming Singing as Art: The Trouble with Mechanics
AUTHOR: Amanda Cole
ABSTRACT: The teaching of singing is increasingly influenced by research in the fields of health science and acoustics to the extent that teachers could be excused for thinking that they need a science or other technical degree in order to teach singing responsibly. While it is a step forward to increase the accuracy of our teaching language and the precision of the mechanical aspect of instruction, the author cautions against and draws attention to the growing risks of falling into the trap of a single-minded focus on mechanics in the voice studio. The author considers the increasing reliance on mechanical models for voice teaching, offering viewpoints from philosophy and poetry in a reminder to maintain balance in the modern voice studio.
KEYWORDS: Classical and contemporary voice pedagogy, Voice science, Singing and psychology, Singing technique, medicalization, singing and performance, whole versus parts, art versus science, art of singing, mechanics, mechanistic teaching, the humanities, John Dewey.